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Grateful Dead Live at Grand Prix Racecourse on 1973-07-27

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Grateful Dead Live at Grand Prix Racecourse on 1973-07-27

Topics Live concert

Promised Land, Sugaree, Mexicali Blues, Bird Song, Big River, Tennessee Jed Mississippi Half Step, Me & My Uncle, Jam-> Wharf Rat, Around & Around

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Grand Prix Racecourse
Location Watkins Glen, NY

Source Soundboard


no regular info file (covers only); see 2 "history" posts; reported flaws: d2t3
(jam > wharf rat) has pops at 4:37, 9:22, 23:42; see pub comments for other flaw notes; circulated with 7/28/73


Reviewer: Quiche - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 29, 2015
Subject: Proto-Fire?
Sounds more like proto-Franklin's to me, beginning about 14:00, Still, rightly revered and one of those few things in life that make me wish I was older so that I could have been there.
Reviewer: phish_head555 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 27, 2015
Subject: Gig/soundcheck
I left from Hartford, very early Friday morning..and picked up my friends. by the time we got there, there were many folks... So many, that the promoters decided, that all the bands would do full gigs. By the time the Dead hit the stage, not only was it very late (almost 11:30) but the site had their obligatory festival rainstorm.. To this day..I clearly remember..having to use the port a potty, while listening to a bit of this!!!! Sound quality is amazing. By their standards then, this was really neither a soundcheck (too long) or a full-fledged gig(to short.). But for those of us who arrived that Friday (most of us) , it was more, then the happy medium!1
Reviewer: clementinescaboose - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 1, 2013
Subject: Uh-huh
Forget the actual show...this Soundcheck is what you of the best jams the boys ever did, plus a cool Bird Song for good measure.
Reviewer: waferhead - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 22, 2013
Subject: photos
i had a friend who went to this show.he is no longer with us, but he gave me photos of this show they are on slides,so i converted them. im the only one with the looking to trade or something if anyone wants some they are really good photos.i also have more from diffrent years i took myself. email me at
Reviewer: ZENmud - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 16, 2013
Subject: I = one of 600,000~~~ there yes ohhh
I was 16, it was a long day; never hitchhiked more than 20 miles before, and from Central NJ, my bud and I left at about 7am, hitching SW towards Allentown, then north to Nirvana, NY.

We found a 'triangle' just off the main path, right near the only (AFAIK) water faucet, mid/field.

Find the aerial shot the NYT published, or see photos of the distinct, outer towers to relay sound. They had four towers at ~100yds, then five at ~150yds: the nine towers being delay-synched to render great sound to this crowd... we were nearly exactly between two inner and outer towers.

Everyone around us was chill, welcomed new arrivals and made room... no tents, and Ma gave us some plastic trash bags to cover our sleeping bags ;-)

And as stated above (below?), we heard music we hadn't anticipated... LIVE were they, awake were we, happy dancing suburbanites...
(and one month later to the day, I escaped to Denver, from the family house -- to live with a brother, finish HS and go on into my life)
Reviewer: oh_uh_um_ah - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 27, 2009
Subject: The GRATEFUL DEAD "Live On Stage" July 27, 1973 at Watkins Glenn, New York, United States of America


"This Day In GRATEFUL DEAD History"

~ Classic 73' Soundboard ~

36 years ago today, at Watkins Glenn in Up-State New York, the GRATEFUL DEAD performed live...and I graduated HS.

Seems "Me & My Uncle" has audience qualities.

I highly recommend adding this Watkins Glenn show to your 1973 GRATEFUL DEAD collection.

5 Stars for the mix, recording, performance and transfer.

I recommend using your EQ during playback of most of the shows on the IA, this one included.

Windows Media Player has a 10 band EQ and SRS WOW effects that enhance the sound.

Here's one way to download this show:

The IA recommends users of Windows XP view this web-page with RealPlayer.

RealPlayer is a free media player you can download at

Using RealPlayer to view this webpage, click the VBR M3U link to open the songs in the Playlist. If your Playlist is not open, open it by clicking the Playlist icon at the lower right hand corner of RealPlayer.

Once the songs are in the Playlist, double click the song to play it, then click the record button at the lower left hand corner of Realplayer to record it.

When the red line reaches the other end click the stop button to download the song. Your song is in the RealPlayer Downloads folder.

Repeat these steps for each song.

Eat, Drink, Be Merry and Listen to the GRATEFUL DEAD.

Thanks for the LOVE from 1973.

PS: Remember to click the "DeadLists Project" link and get the poster for this show.

PSS: if you don't like my reviews too stinks, get used to the smell....

Nixon was President & Spiro T. Agnew was Vice President when this show was performed.

Joe Biden makes Agnew look like a George Washington.
Reviewer: eglider - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 27, 2009
Subject: then and now
36 yrs today. long strange trip from then to here. Faith, I still love you somewhere in my old shriveled heart. I hope youre well. Peace.
Reviewer: smokestack lightnin' - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 1, 2009
Subject: one of a half million stories
We burned out the clutch on my girlfriend's old Plymouth as we got to the top of the hill at the campsite on the other side from where the stage was set up. Strangers helped push us over as the car started going backward back down the hill. We were 19. Later we realized we forgot to pack about half of the tent when we left home, so we slept under the stars that night. But while we were figuring that out, we heard music over the P.A. Dead music. There we were trying to figure out what album it was from. It was all live, obviously, but none of these songs had been on any of the live albums yet. Were they playing a recent concert through the P.A.? That was ridiculous. Holy fuck, they were on NOW! We ran over and sure enough there they were. The crowd wasn't all there yet, so my girlfriend and I got down fairly close to the right of the stage and snuggled up on the grass for the rest of the sound check. The thing I remember about the "jam" was that the sun was setting and as it got darker the music became more intense and the stage lights came up, very gradually, until there was a dawning. Everything was on -- the music, the lights and all the people. When it was over my girlfriend and I looked at each other and knew we had seen something special. I said, "Let's try to get back to this spot tomorrow," but one look the next day and we knew that wasn't going to be possible. The next day was the next day -- mostly a blur, actually. Fortunately, when it was all over we were able to coast down the hill and into a gas station and spend an extra day while the clutch got fixed. Three summers later I and Planet Earth said goodbye to my girlfriend. Yes, there is a lot to remember about that Watkins Glen show.
Reviewer: stellar darkstar - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 2, 2008
Subject: gary s tim h
iv'e heard about this jam from acouple of my uncles and close freinds but they couldnt put to words how good it really is you should listen
Reviewer: GARY56 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 21, 2007
Subject: Wow...What a Flashback!
Summer Jam or bust! We drove Thursday afternoon from South Jersey to upstate New York for the time of our lives! Blew a head gasket on my 65 Chevy on the way, but pressed on anyway. Got to the outskirts of town and picked up a hitchhiker. He was a local and when we hit the traffic to get to speedway, he told us to turn around because he knew of a better way to go. We took the risk, and for sure, we entered on the back side of the speedway. After a morning of frisbee, we broke camp in the parking lot to try to get close to the concert entrance. When got to the gates it was already open and we set up our tent near the second set of speaker towers (center). Luckily there were boxes of bottled water in the field that we were able to gather. As we sat down to eat dinner, someone came on stage and said, "you don't mind if we tune up, do you?" "...that's when it all began..." It first was the Allman Bros (2hrs), then The Band (2 hrs), and finally the Dead (2hrs) for the start of the legendary "soundcheck" on the night before of the main event. What a night of music and partying. It was rounded off with Van Morrison piped through the speaker system. The next morming we woke up to a sea of humanity surrounding our tent. Thanks those who posted this music (and memories) It truly reminded me of the start of the Very Best experience in my life! (I am 51 now)
Reviewer: rollandfin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 15, 2006
Subject: Jam
Very Cool, grateful For this SBD Jam which does not end prematurely, Yes early Fire jam, so too is the Jam from Mickey's farm August 71, Amazing,jam into wharf rat, unique to this soundcheck, the space in 72thru74 is what elevates this band beyond greatness, baltimore 3/26/73 jam>Wharf is also something special, something about the roaming melodic pace of WhRat seems to atract other great sounds to it.
Reviewer: Lewis/Klitschko - favoritefavorite - August 5, 2005
Subject: Re:
The speed is too slow during the main jam. Get the Miller version.
Reviewer: lchange43 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 24, 2005
Subject: great sound check
this is a great sound check jam sounds like pcs of mountain jam at the beginning with phil hitting this monster chord to get the jam started and bobby kicks in with this great rythm chord and of jerry and billy seem to be joined at the hip in this one classic stuff to played loud threw soround system.
Reviewer: scully - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 16, 2005
Subject: Crowds of People
I missed Wookstock and I sure as hell was not going to miss this festival. We rented a Ryder truck and set our eyes for a weekend of awesome music. We never expected the crowds of people and the unsanitary conditions. I held my pee all day, just because the Mr.John's were filled to the max. Lots of drug use all around, and great music. The Band and the Allman Bros. is all I can remember. Crashed on my pack in the mud. The sound systems were good . I can remember the song that was played over speakers when the sun came out, Here Comes the Sun, by the Beatles. I would have given anything for a clean bathroom and a sink. It was a time to experiment, and I so I did. I am glad that I did not continue the rest of my life that way. I became a nurse,but still lov'in the music.
Reviewer: dsotm79 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 3, 2005
Subject: So Many Roads
Get the So Many Roads box set. It has the "Jam" segment of this show. Sounds Great!!
Reviewer: phleshy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 2, 2004
Subject: Great, unusual show.
No, it's not a five-star show, but this "soundcheck" is really fascinating and unique. Great Sugaree, Big River. Lengthy Bird Song is no 8/27/72, but close. The highlight of the show is, of course, the Space>Jam>Wharf Rat. This sort of out-of-nowhere transition is extremely rare at Dead shows; the only other examples of this segue that come to mind is 6/14/68 ("Space>The Eleven"), 12/31/71 ("Space>Black Peter"), and 3/27/88 ("Space>So What jam"). The 2-chord jam into Wharf Rat is an embryonic "Fire on the Mountain." Cool show, get it.
Reviewer: mgags - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 3, 2004
Subject: WHOA! - THE JAM!!
This sdck is LEGENDARY! Apart from the few cuts and avg sdbd quality, this is worth recording. The obvious highlight is the JAM. Starting from basically nothing, they build on a theme I've never heard before. Then it picks up to a state of frenzy which finally dissolves into Wharf Rat. The Bird Song is also worthy of note as well.
Reviewer: Ox Fall Down - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 26, 2004
Subject: Is this the famous Watkins Glen soundcheck?
I suspect it is judging from Phil referring to the afternoon (to the audience-how large?) as, "a test."
The sound rates 3.5 to 4 stars. The mix rates 4. I haven't listened to every second but I have come upon cuts and omissions. Most glaringly during 1/2 Step during Garcia's initial, solo singing of, "across the Rio Grande-E-O, across...CUT." Garcia's "the lazy river" is lost as is the remainder of the refrain. To listen begin at 5:43, with the cut at 5:53. There are other cuts but none at such a crucial moment as this.
Still, I'm grateful for this recording as I am for this site.
Reviewer: doses - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 28, 2004
Subject: please, an updated set list
a splendid show, part of a heroic ressurection, this SBD part(of the two days) does not have a text file that reflects it's history. From Noah,s stiry, I surmise that his source was different, and he did not have all the songs. It begs a solid story; who can tell??
info Stream Only
Stream playlist
( VBR )
In Collection
Grateful Dead
In Collection
Live Music Archive
Uploaded by
Jonathan Aizen
on 4/5/2004
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